As we continue the Life of an 806 Athlete series, part two focuses on the coach: the leader, contact, assessor of talent, and the main link most of the times to a student-athlete getting into prime position with a recruiter for a scholarship. What is the coaches role in the process? Where does the parent fit into all of this, and what is a recruiter looking for to get on their radar? Here is part two below.
I started off asking coaches what advice would you have for a player that is good enough to play on that level, has the grades and work ethic intact, and still can’t get an offer? Let’s start with..
Estacado Coach James Vint stated, ” There are certain measurables that kids must have to play D1 football. If you are 5-10, you can be the best offensive lineman in the country. You aren’t going to get a D1 scholarship. If you are a 5-6 running back, you aren’t going to have as many D1 opportunities as a kid who is over 6 feet tall.” While Coach Seth Parr from the Coronado Mustangs said, “Measurements have to met a school’s standards or they aren’t coming. They can have all the heart in the world but they don’t recruit heart, they recruit measurables.”
#2 FILM, OR LACK OF IT.
Film is a big deal to me. I don’t understand why coaches in the 806, or from anywhere around lock their film up. It’s a shame that recruiters might want to go look at a players HUDL account and can’t get access. Coach Parr stated, “Kids need to make a highlight reel, and just not a highlight. They also need to make it public and not private.” I also talked with Shane Mehl, the father of an athlete in the 806 that has been to numerous camps and events to get his son noticed. When asked about film he stated, ” You also look at HUDL accounts that are private around this area versus the HUDL accounts in the Dallas area. You also have some coaches that get upset when players use social media to try to promote themselves to colleges. Whereas coaches in Dallas probably welcome that as long as it’s not bad, cause it helps promote the schools. The more schools that are advertised for free, the more possible money that comes their way to get new uniforms and helmets.” So, in closing, good film is a major key to your success. When asked about recruiting services for players Coach Jimmy Thomas from Bushland stated, “Be careful about recruiting services because too many of them out there. I ask every college coach that comes in my office(about recruiting services) and many say they focus on film from HUDL and don’t look at all the services.”
3. WHAT ABOUT BASKETBALL RECRUITS AND THE AAU ROUTE?
Let’s talk about basketball recruiting, and how it has changed tremendously in the last 10 years. I saw a recruit on twitter have a press conference to announce that he was going to play at his high school, rather than play for a private school. I thought at first that was crazy, but this is the way great high school players are trending in the new way of getting noticed and to their school of choice. I take to Coach Steven Flores of Kermit’s basketball team and he stated.”. I had two DI coaches tell he they had a hard time gauging one of my players because he didn’t play top-level athletes every game so they want to see kids from smaller classifications night in night out. Like Jarrett Culver, he blew up one game at that Nike game and had everyone calling the next day! That’s all it takes sometimes is being at the right place at the right time.”
4. COMPETITON AND SCHEDULING
When you win, they come, from all over. That is the truest statement in sports. People want to see a winner, and don’t hang around much for the losers. If your team is making deep runs and beating quality teams in the process, your team will get some exposure that will allow a player more looks than if he was on a team that wasn’t doing too good. As Coach Parr stated, ” When you win, they are coming.” When I talked to Lubbock-Cooper’s Head Football Coach, Max Kattwinkel, he stated, “Coaches can help their kids get exposure by scheduling up and finding competition that will not only make their players better, but also the program. Your players will never get recognized when they are playing against people they are supposed to beat every week.” Coach Vint also stated,” I think a big part of coaches recruiting West Texas comes down to making deep playoff runs as well. We have to be competitive at all levels, especially the 4A, 5A, and 6A levels. If you are going 4 and 5 rounds deep, the coaches will come in to talk to your kids. If you go 1-9 and 2-8, the coaches are not going to come in unless you have someone who is a
#5 THE PARENT… AND THEIR ROLE IN THE PROCESS.
Honestly, a parent’s role is never defined to me. But here are some actions a parent can take to immediately help their kid get noticed. 1. Make them a Facebook page. Only put their highlights, pictures, and interviews with media outlets on the page. Make it easily accessible to the masses! 2. Get your own video. All the video games are taped by the schools, but it wouldn’t hurt for a parent to buy a camera and also take video of their child to put on their social media pages. 3. Be very aware and respectful of coaches and administration. Try to form a relationship where all of you guys are on the same page, and also be honest with yourself. DII and DIII schools aren’t bad and should be accepted if you know your sons potential doesn’t quite reach the DI level. Lastly, Coach Parr stated, “Kids are catered to here a lot. You have to stay humble at all times and not be coddled. You have to realize you are not just going up against the 806, you are also going up against that kid in Alabama and Florida that wants an offer too.”
Well, camps are needed for your athlete to get on the radar, but there is a difference between great workouts everyday with your team and just getting some good throws or drills in at camp. Why go to a satellite camp when there are 400 kids there when you can go to a camp with about 50 people? One reason to go is to see where your kid stands. One reason not to is your kid might not even get a serious look. As Coach Norman, the Offensive Coordinator from Levelland stated, “I would go to one day camps on the school you are interested on their campus as their entire coaching staff will be there. The satellite camps have grown into monsters, many having over 300 kids there. We heard of one having over 400. Just too many there and schools may just send one coach.”
In conclusion, a coaches job is to make sure your son is ready to be a productive man in society and make sure they graduate, in my opinion. The scholarship and next-level process is extra. If you are good, they will come find you. Look at Jaelyn Nolan from Brownfield; he is about to be the first ever Division One signee in Brownfield history! If you feel your son is that good, make sure the grades, ACT or SAT, transcripts and film are up to par before you start the process. Also, start early. I saw a certain school that has won a few national titles in the past few years offer an eighth-grader..lol